Certified Pre-Owned Vs. Used Vehicles

January 7th, 2023 by

At Boch Chevrolet, we understand that, as a dealership, customers come to us with the need for a vehicle and a specific budget. Sometimes that budget affords buyers a brand-new car. In our experience, though, more people have budgets that require they look to the pre-owned market, and there’s nothing wrong with pre-owned vehicles. In fact, you can save a lot of money and still get the features you’ll find on new cars. The only problem buyers face is deciding what pre-owned car to buy.

If you’re in the market for a pre-owned vehicle, you’ve probably seen enough advertisements to make your head spin. At Boch Chevrolet, we have certified pre-owned (CPO) cars, used cars, used vehicle specials, deals under $15k, and even something called velocity pricing. Then, sprinkle in the holiday sales events, and how does one decide which used car to buy? To help, we had our used car experts discuss the pros and cons of CPO vehicles versus regular used vehicles.

Used Chevrolet for sale


Man in the back of a Chevy pickup with arms in the air.

CPO vehicles cost more than regular used vehicles. Sometimes, you can pay thousands of dollars more for the same car with the same mileage and identical condition. Why is that? What you’re paying for is the certification from the dealership that the vehicle meets the following requirements:

  • Only one owner.
  • Everything works properly.
  • The car has never been in an accident.
  • It has limited miles.
  • All routine maintenance was performed on schedule.

We have hundreds of used cars for sale that don’t qualify for the CPO program. That doesn’t make them bad cars, only less expensive. Our dealership takes in thousands of vehicles annually as part of trade-in deals, picked up at auctions, and many other scenarios. A six-year-old car may have had two owners or have gone over the miles threshold required for CPO status. That’s our problem, but it might be your solution.

If you’re sticking to a budget, you can find the exact car used as you would in our CPO inventory. The slight differences typically don’t add up to any significant drawback. Only you save money.

Warranty Protection

Our CPO inventory comes with a factory-backed warranty at no additional cost, which offers excellent protection should something go wrong. In addition, used vehicles sometimes have a warranty from the original purchaser that we happily transfer over to you when you buy the car.

However, the older the car, the less likely it has warranty protection. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a warranty. We offer extended warranties on nearly every used car we sell. These warranties measure up to the factory warranties you find on CPO vehicles, and you can buy one for $1,000-$1,500. In addition, we can wrap that cost into your financing package, which only adds a few dollars a month. You could pay $3,000-$5,000 more for the same CPO car and get the warranty for free.


Roughly 60 new models come out every year globally. Most CPO vehicles are 3-5 years old. So, you have around 300 models to choose from in the CPO market. If you go back ten years for used cars, that translates to 600 models, twice that of the CPO segment. Projections show that around 15.2 million new vehicles will be sold by the end of 2022. That creates a nationwide pool of 76 million potential CPO cars. But, of course, half of those will still be owned by the original buyer leaving 38 million cars available.

Taking that number out ten years gives you around 152 million potential used cars. Subtract the 38 million still under ownership, and you have a pool of used cars totaling 114 million. That’s nearly three times the amount of CPO vehicles.

The moral of the story is if you want variety or are searching for something specific, you’re far more likely to find it in the used segment. You’ll have a nearly three-to-one chance of finding the car of your dreams in our used inventory.


What makes a quality car? CPO vehicles tout their near-perfect condition, low miles, and factory warranty to justify their quality and ask for a higher price. Of course, many buyers prefer this scenario, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a like-new car with low miles and warranty protection.

Yet, if a car was involved in a minor fender bender and was repaired by a certified technician with original equipment manufacturer parts, it can’t be called a CPO vehicle. That history doesn’t make it a poor-quality car. Instead, it offers you a chance to save money because the previous owner had the misfortune of getting in an accident, and we took the car as a trade-in on a new deal.

However, it would help if you looked at the vehicle brand and its track record for quality. Then, research the model’s integrity over time. In some cases, like the Chevy Equinox, you find a history of low maintenance and high customer satisfaction. So, finding a used Chevy Equinox or a used Tahoe for sale gives you confidence that the car will be a quality vehicle.

Some cars experience problems with specific model years. Just because a manufacturer has a good reputation for producing quality cars doesn’t mean they’ve never had issues. Your research should consider the best years of any vehicle you’re interested in buying.

At Boch Chevrolet, we put every certified pre-owned vehicle through a rigorous inspection process to ensure quality and reliability. We also inspect every pre-owned car to ensure its dependability. The difference between these inspections is that we repair problems on a CPO vehicle. We also fix significant issues we find on used cars, but we might not replace the broken vent or repair a small tear in a seat. These slight problems cost more than they’re worth to repair as we wouldn’t see a significant jump in price.

Shop for Used Cars in Norwood

We hope you learned a thing or two about the differences between CPO and used cars. If you’re ready to upgrade your ride with a vehicle you can rely on at a great price, we invite you to shop our virtual inventory online. Of course, you can always stop by and see our used cars at our Norwood dealership anytime.


Chevy Mancation by Nan Palmero is licensed with CC BY 2.0


Posted in Car Tips